Having a connection to a landscape, whether real or imagined is a good thing. It’s a place where you can refresh yourself no matter what…
This is about as loose and tangential as you’ll ever catch me-here anyway. Get me into a conversation…it’ll be miles long. No apologies.
Sometimes, my soul longs for the desert. Like it longs for England, but that’s another story. I grew up in valleys, near mountains, meadows, and fields. I grew up in the “Wild West” where cowboys roamed and still do. Where Lewis and Clark walked, I have walked. Where Custer and the Indians fought, I have shed tears-it is energetically overwhelming. I have seen Chief Plenty Coup’s ghost in the window of his old home, and visited the tree growing out of the spring beneath where people still go to pray and give offerings. It’s a portal to another world.
I’ve crept and leapt through old mines and ghost towns, and hotsprings still haunted with echos of miners. I’ve prayed in Peace Valley. I’ve held Charlie Russel original sculptures in my hands, because he loved my Great Grandmother Sue. But as much as these places are part of my soul, I have other soulscapes…
When did the desert come in? It might have been that certain trip to the desert as a child. Where, on leaving vast canyons and monuments, and driving into the western sunset, storm clouds formed a colossal cauldron overhead. Every color in the desert, the sands, the sky, the shrubs, cacti, and the road became something More-intense and vibrant. I could feel all of it thrumming through me. I remember leaving my body in the car with my family while my soul roamed the desert, flew through the sky, and touched every green and growing thing in the terrain, and delighting that something that was supposed to be so barren, was so full of life. I think that red earth still calls me because I, like a desert plant, have flourished. Despite the desert. Ultimately, the desert is cleansing.
I think that the maroon and orange and sand and yellow and cactus green and blue sky with thunderheads and the sunset is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. I need to see the starry desert sky once more, after the rain, after the smell of ozone is still in the air, but the clouds have gone.
I do miss driving from Nevada to Arizona via Hoover Dam at sunset. I have perfect memories of so many colors, and feelings-but we really just don’t have the words to describe them. Not in English, anyway.